Abidjan –On November 21-23, 2013 in Abidjan, the Pan African Inter-governmental Agency Water and Sanitation for Africa in cooperation with the government of Côte d'Ivoire organized the third High Level Forum on Water and Sanitation for All, sponsored by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). The theme of this year's forum was to promote vibrant and effective cooperation among Southern countries to accelerate access to hygiene, sanitation and water for all in Africa.
“Access to water and sanitation remains a major development issue in Africa,” said Bradley Wallach, USAID West Africa Deputy Mission Director, at the conference. “For over a decade, USAID has worked with African governments and the private sector to improve populations' sustainable access to water and sanitation. This forum will allow leaders in this sector to assess current gaps and seek collaborative ways to provide sustainable services.”
In addition to contributing $100,000 to sponsor the forum, USAID supported the participation of ten individuals, representatives of governments as well as non-governmental organizations, from Burkina Faso, Ghana and Niger. Because USAID's water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) activities in West Africa target those three countries, the Agency also held side meetings with their ministers in charge of WASH issues. At the forum, USAID representatives gave presentations on the Agency's WASH activities and mounted an exhibit focused on these activities.
The USAID WA-WASH Program, implemented by Florida International University, is a four-year, U.S. $28 million project that contributes to meeting West Africa's Millennium Development Goal of providing improved access to water and sanitation to 50% of the population. In addition, WA-WASH provides access to water for productive uses via multiple use systems and improves resilience to climate change in three target countries: Burkina Faso, Ghana and Niger.
The goal of USAID in West Africa is to promote social and economic well-being advanced by West Africans. Spanning 21 countries, the USAID/West Africa regional office designs and implements programs with West African partners to strengthen systems of non-violent conflict management, support economic growth, and expand quality health services. The American people, through USAID, provide economic and humanitarian assistance in more than 100 countries worldwide. For more information please visit http://www.usaid.gov/west-africa-regional